The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is in consultation with the Department of Space, private FM radio stations and All India Radio (AIR) for formulating norms in the area of satellite radio. In addition, US-based consulting firm Telecomm Strategies is in the process of giving an overview of the international scenario in satellite radio.
Sources indicated that Trai would submit its report to the government in another two months or so.
Currently, there are no regulatory norms for satellite radio in India. Significantly, even in the US, there’s no government or regulator’s control over content in satellite radio. But, US satellite radio stations need to obtain licence from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).In India, even as there are norms for private FM radio, there’s none for satellite radio.
US-based consulting firm Telecomm Strategies was recently appointed by Trai for recommending norms in the satellite radio segment. Telecomm Strategies would be expected to give an overview of the international scenario and also suggest a growth path for the India market. It would also focus on the implications of having more players in satellite radio. The idea is also to have a more organised satellite radio market.
For more India specific inputs, the department of space and radio players such as AIR and private FM operators will offer their views, sources added.
At present, WorldSpace is the only satellite radio platform available in India. The country receives satellite radio signal through WorldSpace’s AsiaStar satellite, and it is uplinked from Singapore.
Globally speaking, well-known satellite radio players are Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Both operate in the US.
Trai had recently appointed Ernst & Young and Media Partners Asia (MPA) for advice on digitisation of cable TV in the country.